Feb 072011

Since 4.0.6 is dropping tomorrow, I’ll run through some theorycraft and see what’s changing. (For the other changes I analyzed previously, see my WoW Insider column.)


After much thought, I’ve decided to drop the table of relative stat values I had calculated, and point you towards a calculator instead, such as Mew. That said, things are mostly the same: Agility as your preferred primary stat, and Mastery as your preferred secondary stat. Crit and Haste are very close in value, but in general, the value of crit drops as your gear level improves:

  • ilvl 346: Prefer crit to haste
  • ilvl 359: Crit/haste roughly equal
  • ilvl 372: Prefer haste to crit

Either way, you’ll want to avoid hit/expertise (unless tanking/interrupting). These figures assume you are using one of the new metagems with +3% crit damage; if not, haste definitely comes out on top.

Socket Bonuses

1 Agility is worth slightly less than 3 Mastery and slightly more than 3 Crit/Haste. Essentially, you should ignore all socket bonuses and gem straight +40 agility, except for socket bonuses of +20 agility and better.


Rip/Shred/one of Berserk or Tiger’s Fury look to remain the best three choices. Berserk remains my preference.

Rotational Changes

  • FC -> Ravage on CD: This isn’t a change, necessarily, but the newest Mew has math to confirm that this is a DPS gain. If you can run out to charge back in and lose no more than 3 seconds of melee attacks, do it. For bosses where you can FC in place (Valiona), the DPS gain is roughly 3-4%, with a percent off that for each second you spend not attacking.
  • No more FB above 25%. I’m still testing this one, but Biting above 25% is of little to no benefit now with the buff to Shred. My general recommendation is to stop worrying about bites. CP’s remain on a target until you start generating CP’s on another one, so just leave them there. (Remember you can actually SR from range, if you run out.)

If you have any other questions, just ask. (Well, except about PvP gear. In short; yes, Individual Vicious pieces are worth using over heroic blues. Individual Bloodthirsty pieces are not. Anything more detailed requires a calculator, so please just go plug your own gear into Mew.)

Oh, and since it appears that the feral PvP nerf is going live: I can’t wait to PvP another feral, have both our Nature’s Grasp effects proc at the same time, and engage in a slap fight. That’s about all I can look forward to enjoying.

 Posted by at 5:06 pm

  41 Responses to “4.0.6, Theorycraft Edition”

  1. So any final decision on Unheeded warning ?
    Im curently rocking Tias Grace + Fluid death (regret not getting 2 set but OH WELL)
    i have one in bank that i told my guild to put off on selling cause it might be good. Im thinking with the increased shred damage +Haste value (more autoattacks + shreds) in addition with a double pot tol’vir and berserk early as the trincket procs. i feel like the damage would spike so high.
    Well pls confirm this for me if you can ty

    • I believe UW came out slightly behind FD, so it would be an upgrade of Tia’s. I guess it’s up to you if it is worth the cash or if you are going to be getting the heroic trinket from Halfus any time soon.

    • Everybody’s asking this. :) UW is now our BiS trinket, believe it or not. 2nd BiS is one of the 372 Heroic agi trinkets, 3rd BiS is FD.

  2. With the buff to Mangle damage, wouldn’t the Mangle glyph be a slightly better choice? Specially if you’re wearing 4set t11?

  3. @Age – Mangle would only be for being stuck in front of a target. A kitty in raids should only be hitting Mangle to keep the debuff up, and then only if some other class isn’t doing it for them. Or at least that’s been the rule so far.

    Lemme see if I got this.

    Above 25%:
    1. Keep Rip up.
    2. Keep SR up.
    3. Shred and ignore CPs.

    Below 25%:
    1. FB to refresh Rip if needed.
    2. Keep SR up.
    3. FB at 5 CPs.

    Is that right? If so, that kinda sucks… pulls a hunk of John Madden out of kitty DPS.

    • Losing serious John Madden is right :( What have they done to kitty rotation!!!

    • Yep, that’s it. (Don’t forget about using FC->Ravage on CD, though, that’s the new skill.)

    • Does the priority of FB go up when forced to attack targets from the front (e.g., during Malorick’s red vial)?

    • So above 25% Ferocious Bite is a waste since that energy would be more damage if you would just Shred. Does the FB glyph come back into from the fail list?

    • Are we forgetting rake?

    • My kitty is technically my offspec so im no master at it. This said a brief read of this guide and a bit of maths checking and I do around 16-18k dps is 346 kitty loot and a couple of 359 tank pieces. It seems with this patch they have made Kitty dps a lot more simple (I dont think this is a good thing tbh) The rotation I ow follow is something like this.

      Tiger fury, feire fire, Ravage, Mangle, Rake (Usually have 5 CP) Rip, Beserke, Shred (till I have 5CP) SR, Then Shed, Rake and shred till Rip needs refreshing popping tigers fury whenever off CD.
      Below 25% replace Rip with FB every 5CP as long as SR is up (works out for me to be about 500dps increase last 25%)

      My guild is currently 8/12 and I have been kitty for a fair few of the fights (solo tank ones mainly) and I see no reason for any hit rating still, I am around 4% (not wanting to be) But I see people using the fluid Death trinket, although the proc is nice I find a better combination to be The Tol barad mastery and agility on use trinket and Tiars Grace for the last boss in heroic LC as this is mastery and stacking agility.

      • Sorry to add I dont use expertise at all again all I carry is the left over from my tank gear, having studied world of logs I gave found the top 1% of kitty druids to be operating with,
        1-2% Hit rating
        1-3 Expertise rating
        And from what I understand this is values that couldnt be reforged off it is not some sort of secret needed number.

        As a heads up for all trying this target dummy dps can go DOWN but do not worry even in 10 mans the lack of hit and expertise is made up for so not noticed and that is where you will see your DPS increase (in the real fights) Anyway Good luck!

  4. Meh, forgot to mark for email notification of followups. My apologies…

  5. Note, that the value of dark intent for us goes slightly up with the patch since haste gets more valuable.

    See also http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/813759-Dark-Intent-The-Guide-%282010-12-24 where 4.0.6 is already taken into account

    • Nice, thanks for the link. You know the casters will get it first, though, and the odds of a raid with no spriest/firemage/boomkin are small.

  6. “Oh, and since it appears that the feral PvP nerf is going live: I can’t wait to PvP another feral, have both our Nature’s Grasp effects proc at the same time, and engage in a slap fight. That’s about all I can look forward to enjoying.”

    This had me cracking up and at the same time feeling incredibly sad.

  7. I’m curious about UW too. I have it, but have been holding off equipping it so it doesn’t get wasted. Currently sporting heroic Tia’s and Darkmoon agi card.

  8. So it’s confirmed that shoulders will be the best off-tier part for heroic raiding gear?

  9. So let me get this straight, are we supposed to avoid hit and expertise before or after the soft cap??

    • There is no “soft cap” when attacking from behind. If for some reason you were forced to attack a boss from the front and wanted to minmax, you’d want to replace GoShred with GoMangle and, yes, stack expertise to the softcap.

  10. I’m having trouble deciding on which two tier pieces to use first. armory me on Tezin

  11. Good evening, Alaron! To start congratulations on your blog, I i find it awesome the user-friendly way you write and not the typical elitist jerk thing, so keep it up :D

    I’d like to ask you two things, first, so shred coming up in value to FB’ing, we should all use FB glyph from now on, right? The second this is, my armory: http://bit.ly/fvHKRt , with my gear at the moment I’m wondering if I’m gonna cancel my crit>haste reforges, so I’d like your opinion on that.


    • Last but not least, with those trinkets that I have should I buy Unheeded Warning and replace Fluid Death with it? Thanks :>

  12. So how will the Quicksilver Alchemist Stone stack up with the other trinkets? Trying to decide if it’s worth making or if I should just buy Unheeded Warning (along with FD).

  13. With the straight agility from the trinket, plus the socket (and bonus) you are looking at 351 agility. That should make it a nice option if you are unlucky with drops but doesn’t put it near the top 3.

  14. I’m wondering if I should chase the hit cap in this patch? With all the interrupting that has to occur is it worth the DPS loss for me to not reforge hit to mastery in a few places now in order to not miss my interrupts?

    Great info Alaron and thanks so much for talking up Unheeded Warning, I got it for only 10k before patch :D

  15. I hate how blizz are slowly leaking all of the skill out of kitty DPS. Its not the reason i started a druid but it was certainly a source of pride to put out competitive numbers and to know that i had to work to get em.

    Was wondering if you had any thoughts on the epic LW agi recipes (Mail & Leather) not getting their gem sockets like every other crafted epic did.

    Anyways, thanks for the updates.


  16. God these changes make me so mad/sad. Feral druids went from wotlk, having one of the highest skill caps rotation wise, to now, where the only “tricky” thing there is left is the FC->ravage dillema. Come on, im not a hardcore raider by far, and i find this down right insulting. If it wanted to play a game with no skill requirements i would go play my little pony/reroll frost mage. For the first time i feel like going on a whining spree on the forums.

  17. Great resource here thank you for putting the time in to develop theorycrafting as feral dps is very dynamic. I notice in the above comments dps priority failed to mention rake. Obviously a foresight as Rake is still a significant bleed that should have it’s uptime maintained. Although I am not happy about the shred spam change I still think to get maximum dps as a kitty we have a very challenging rotation. Ideally timing bleed refreshes to get maximum uptime and damage while maintaing proper position can be very challenging especially on fights like Council. And I personally still run into latency issues with Rake timing despite a 40ms connection. Yes the careless kitty can shred spam on static fights to some respectable numbers but the opportunity is there for the enthusiast to go beyond that.

    • Needing skill to get the most out of your kitty is not in dispute. Nor is kitty DPS an issue, the 4.0.6 changes have slightly increased the top-end DPS from what I saw in raids last night. But neither can anyone make a convincing case that the current “max DPS” rotation is anything like as challenging as it was before.

      My objections to the recent changes are with what I consider a “broken” mechanic when it comes to CPs. Using a CP generating abiltiy when you already have 5CPs on a target should not be optimal. CPs should be valuable and spending them on the correct ability at the correct time should be inherent in any maximum DPS rotation.

      When FB was dps-competitive you had to make a choice at 5CPs as to whether you would FB / wait for rip to drop and refresh / refresh SR all the while trying to maximize Rake and Mangle uptime. Using Shred (or Mangle or Rake or any CP generating ability) at 5CPs was a net DPS loss or at the very least sub-optimal.

      Now that Shred > FB above 25% health, this is no longer the case.

      The fact we are now hitting a CP generating ability (shred) to achieve max DPS when we already have 5CPs on a target is inherently wrong. The removal of a “max-DPS-viable” CP “dump” should be addressed.

      Just my two cents on how these changes have hurt the feral rotation.

      Great site, Alaron. Keep up the good work!

      • Totally agreed Tuklish. Alaron – sometime you might want to consider clearing up the common misconception that frequently using SR at low cp’s is more efficient than at 5 CP’s. While that was true with regards to CP to buff length efficiency; it is less efficient re: energy and especially in 4.0.6 cp’s are even less of a scarce resource.

  18. […] Strike Rating’s value will begin to drop as we approach the crit cap. Alaron has done some study on the subtle difference in the values at different gear level. In my opinion, the […]

  19. Something I happened to wonder about… does the change to Shred/Bite usage make Feral Aggression a less attractive talent?

    Granted, 3x FFF in one cast is convenient, but if you already have a moonkin it seems a waste of talent points. Maybe 2 points in Thick Hide for emergency tanking?

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